After a week filled with nonsense talk and injury concerns surrounding Patrick Mahomes’ ankle and Travis Kelce’s back, the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals head into kickoff with a chance to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVII. this is how Arrow report The crew sees the rematch play out.
Joshua Briscoe: In a rematch that already absorbed more than its fair share of pregame drama, the Chiefs’ road to the Super Bowl now hinges on Patrick Mahomes’ ankle, Chris Jones’ dominance and the team’s ability to play error-free football. Ultimately, I’m most concerned about that third key, and the Bengals deserve the benefit of the doubt for now. However, with the recent growth from the Chiefs defense and the potential for an all-time game plan from Andy Reid and Co., the case for KC isn’t hard to make. I have never hated or distrusted a forecast more than this one. Virtually nothing would surprise me except a crazy affair with a real lack of bullshit.
Prediction: Bengals 28, Chiefs 27
Jordan Foote: The Chiefs showed in Week 13 — as they did in their other two games against the Bengals — that they are more than capable of handling Cincinnati. Actually beating Joe Burrow and Co. is another story. Kansas City’s question marks in the middle of the field on defense are legitimate, especially against this particular team. This is by far the worst game for an otherwise dominant team led by Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, and that’s even without considering Mahomes’ lower ankle. I can’t pick the Chiefs until they prove they can beat the Bengals, so this is another close loss.
Prediction: Bengals 31, Chiefs 27
Zach Eisen: I’ve been pining for this game since the Chiefs lost in overtime last year in the AFC Championship Game. This version of the Bengals is the only team that really has an advantage over the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs. Cincinnati boasts a 3-0 record over Kansas City over the last 13 months, but the Chiefs have dropped those games more than the Bengals have won them. With a trip to the Super Bowl looming, I expect the Chiefs to be focused and at their best.
As the late great Terez Paylor used to say, this is a race game for Kansas City. Mahomes will be absolutely hyped and play at an all-time high as he leads the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl in four years. Arizona, here we come.
Prediction: Chiefs 34, Bengals 23
Mark Van Sickle: This is it. The rematch we’ve been waiting almost a year to see. The Bengals have won three in a row against the Chiefs, so it’s hard to say that these were fluke wins despite some very strange things that happened. Specifically, when it looked like Patrick Mahomes forgot how to play football for the second half of last year’s AFC Championship game.
That won’t happen again this year. Mahomes will be able to overcome anything the Bengals throw at him and show the world why he is the NFL MVP. The defense will finally get to Joe Burrow and tackle him to the ground. The Chiefs have too much pride to lose their fourth straight to the Bengals. I know earlier in the season I said I couldn’t pick the Chiefs to beat the Bengals until they showed me with a win. However, the playoffs struck differently.
Andy Reid will have a masterful offensive game plan, and you get the feeling Mahomes won’t let them lose a second straight AFC Championship game at home. The Chiefs will return to the Super Bowl to face the Philadelphia Eagles in a Super Bowl game I predicted before the season!
Prediction: Chiefs 38, Bengals 24
Marlowe Ferguson Jr.: While that’s a real possibility, it’s just incredibly hard to imagine any team beating this iteration of the Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs four times out of four, especially with three of four at home. The Bengals aren’t shy about providing bulletin board material, something that would normally immediately make one a Kansas City underdog. But several factors are hard to ignore:
1. Bengals defense matches offensive brilliance; they have allowed just 18.1 postseason points per game in the Burrow era.
2. The Chiefs rank 31st in defense of No. 1 wide receivers, with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins coming to town, and of course…
3. Injuries to Mahomes and Kelce.
However, the bosses always found a way. Emotion trumps logic in this prediction, and that means a Kansas City win.
Prediction: Chiefs, 28; Bengals, 26
Connor Christopherson: The Chiefs will eventually beat the Bengals, but I don’t think it will be this year. Even though Patrick Mahomes was healthier than expected after another ankle sprain last week, I have a hard time believing he’ll be 100%. Coupled with a disciplined Bengals edge, this is a huge cause for concern for me. Mahomes needs to play his best clean-pocket passing game of his career for the offense to be consistent and win.
However, this is not the only concern I have. The Bengals offense targeted the Chiefs defense in the middle of the field relentlessly the last time these teams played, and I have a hard time seeing the Chiefs defense solving that problem for the rematch. Steve Spanuolo and the defensive linemen will have to play their best game of the season to slow down the Bengals enough to win. The player to watch in this game is Isiah Pacheco, because if he can run well and break a big run or two, the Chiefs have a much better chance of making it to the Super Bowl. For me, though, I just don’t think the Chiefs will be able to do enough.
Prediction: Bengals 30, Chiefs 29
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